CULVER — Culver Union Township Public Library (CUTPL) held the first Macaroni and Cheese Throwdown Competition this Saturday. The contest was held in conjunction with the November food for fines program being held at the library. In an effort to help stock the shelves at the Culver Food Pantry, library staff chose to focus on family friendly macaroni and cheese for the food of choice for the fines program. 

CUTPL cardholders are being invited to donate one box of non-perishable macaroni and cheese in exchange for $1 being removed from fines they have accumulated on materials owned by and borrowed from the Culver Union Township Public library. Donations should not be damaged, opened or expired. Maximum redemption is $20 per cardholder. Fees accumulated for lost or damaged items, processing fees, collection referrals or replacement cards are no eligible under the provisions of this program. 

Three contestants entered the contest Saturday. Noemi Gamel entered Macaroni and “Cheese”. Joey Fleury entered her mother’s (Patty Pringer) recipe Gourmet Mac-N-Cheese, and Clark Winrotte entered Cheesetz. Pringer’s recipe won judge’s choice and Winrotte won people’s choice.

Each recipe was unique. Gamel, who is a medical professional, offered a non-dairy vegan version of macaroni and cheese. One of the secrets to Pringer’s recipe was to bake enough to brown the cheese. Winrotte used only two ingredients beyond the basic macaroni and cheese recipe. Judges Bill and Melva Githens chose the gourmet recipe because they enjoyed the browned edges. 

For more information on the Food for Fines program, please call the Culver-Union Township Public Library at 574-842-2941 or e-mail

Macaroni and “Cheese” by Noemi Gamel

Dairy Free

Ingredients: 1 lb. pasta, cooked according to package directions

2 cups raw unsalted CASHEWS, soaked overnight

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

3 tablespoons EVOO (smoked if you can find it)

2 small onions

1-2 fresh jalapeño peppers

6 garlic cloves

Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Cook pasta according to package directions

2. Drain the cashews

3. Place cashews, nutritional yeast, EVOO, 1/2 small onion, peppers, garlic, salt and pepper, and enough water to get to the 6 cup mark in a high-speed blender. Blend until creamy.

4. Slice remaining 1 1/2 onion into thin strips

5. In large saucepan, saute´ onions in olive or grapeseed oil until fragrant and softened

6. Add cashew “cheese” sauce to onions and mix well, until the sauce thickens over the heat

7. Turn off heat

8. Add cooked pasta to cashew “cheese” sauce and mix well.

*This recipe makes enough “cheese” for two packages of 1 lb. pasta. Half of the “cheese” sauce can be parted out for use later in the week.


Cheesetz by Clark Winrotte

People’s Choice: 

2 Packages of Macaroni and Cheese

1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

Approximately 1/3 lb. of thin sliced ham

Prepare macaroni and cheese per directions on box.

Store in cream of mushroom soup to prepared macaroni and cheese

Cut ham into small pieces and mix in well.

Place in 9 x 13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

Gourmet Mac-N-Cheese by Patty Pringer

Judge’s Choice 


1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated fontina cheese

1/2 cup gruyere cheese

1 3/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano

1 lb. elbow macaroni

1/4 cup panic

9 tbsp. Butter

8 tbsp. Salt

4 cups heavy cream (may substitute 1/2 and 1/2)

1 garlic clove (at least)

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

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